U.S. Marshals locate 45 missing children

Joanna Estrada
October 28, 2020

Sondra Miller, president and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Center, whose agency was part of the social services network prepared to aid the rescued victims, said: "Survivors of rape and sex trafficking deserve to be believed and have access to justice".

In a press conference Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that 45 missing children were recovered and more than 100 human trafficking victims were found and referred to social services.

During the operation, 45 missing children were recovered and 169 arrests were made by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and U.S. Marshals in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force arrested 179 people in connection with the missing children. "Human trafficking thrives in the shadows of our communities where survivors feel unseen and unheard, and the COVID pandemic has made those shadows bigger and darker, making far too many women, children, and men fall prey".

In Indiana, eight missing children were rescued during "Operation Homecoming" in September. Of those cases, at least one - that of a missing 15-year-old girl - was confirmed to have been linked to a human trafficking case.

Georgia's "Operation Not Forgotten" helped recover 39 children ages 3 to 17 years old in August. A recovery of the missing juveniles occurred on a traffic stop after the W.V. State Patrol was informed to be on the lookout for the adult male and the vehicle he was driving.

Ohio Attorney General's Office
Ohio Attorney General's Office

An additional 20 or so missing children cases were also cleared, FOX News reported.

The girl was recovered in Columbus by the U.S. Marshals within six hours of being reported missing. And of those recovered, 72% were recovered within 7 days.

A total of 50 law enforcement agencies in OH teamed up to execute an operation that rescued over 100 human trafficking victims and led to 177 arrests.

"Over the past five years, the USMS has recovered missing children in 75% of the cases it has received", the Marshals statement read. "Every agency on this team looks for the day when no person is bought and sold in Ohio".

"My thanks to all personnel who have stepped up for this operation", Peter Tobin, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of OH, said in a news release. "These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day".

"The success of Operation Autumn Hope is measured not only in the number of arrests but in the lives that were rescued from this evil", Yost said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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